2011 Downriver Competition Report

Eric Jones

The 2011 New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association (“NECKRA”) downriver season consisted of 11 races, running from March 26th (Scantic Spring Splash) to June 25th (Charlemont Downriver Canoe & Kayak Race).  This was an increase from the 10-race schedule in effect from 2007-2010, and tied 2006 for the most races run in a downriver season.  The additional race on the 2011 schedule was the Boateater Challenge, organized by Eric Jones in his second year with the organization.

A total of 37 NECKRA members participated in at least one downriver race, down four from 2010. However, 18 members qualified (completed four races) in the downriver series, which was an increase of four from 2010 and was the most qualifiers since 2007. Of the eighteen qualifiers, 14 competed in at least seven races (the maximum number that count toward the championship), the most since 1999.

 

Canoe / Kayak / Total

Members

2011

2010

Diff

At least one race

26 / 11 / 37

29 / 12 / 41

- 3  / -1 / -4

At least four races

10 /  8 / 18

 7 /  7 / 14

+3 / +1 / +4

At least seven races

 7 /  7  / 14

 2 /  4 / 6

+5 / +3 / +8

Overall participation in NECKRA races was down slightly from 2010. In many cases, race-day weather was notably poorer in 2011. Cold temperatures may have kept down attendance at the Scantic Spring Splash, while downpours the day of the Quinnipiac Race probably contributed to the more than 40% decline in participation. While competitive racers enjoyed the exciting water levels, both the Wappingers Creek Water Derby and the Charlemont Downriver Race were held at record or near-record river flows, which may have scared off casual paddlers.

Charley Brackett won the canoe title with 349 points, missing a perfect score only because of a second-place finish in the Quinnipiac Race to Del & Vicki Cummings. It is Charley’s sixth championship in the last nine years. Second place ended in a tie between John Marona and Eric Jones. The canoe series also featured two participants under ten: Tommy Palmer (6th place), nine years old, and Phoebe Jones (8th place), who turned six during the season. Phoebe was also the top female canoe finisher.

The kayak title went to Lou Carrier with 347 points. It is Lou’s tenth title in the last thirteen years. Second place went to Tim Nutt.